I have an announcement. From today I am officially classing myself as a non-smoker. This is my third week of not smoking and it is no longer part of my life.

I feel that I am over the hardest bit, I’ve broken the habit. And my reward for struggling through the last couple of weeks is that it is definitely starting to get easier. I don’t miss smoking at all now during the day and for first time this week I started to leave my inhalator at home rather than carrying it with me 24/7 as a sort of safety blanket.

In the evenings and weekends, where I notice the lack of cigarettes a bit more, I have been keeping myself busy with my fitness regime, housework and catching up on TV programmes. I feel much more organised – work has been really busy but I no longer need to think about building in cigarette breaks, and I’ve been able to start my Christmas shopping because we’ve got a bit of money to spare.

A big hump for me was going out at the weekend. I was worried this would be too hard as it’s where I’ve fallen down before, but it was really refreshing to be able to walk into a new place and not immediately think ‘where’s the smoking area?’ or ‘where can I buy cigarettes near here?’

Managing to quit for this long has been great for my self-esteem. When I was a smoker I thought of myself as someone without any willpower. But now I know I can do this, I feel like I can do other things I wouldn’t have contemplated before. Run 5k? No problem! Deal with a broken washing machine? Piece of cake! As a smoker you think ‘oh I just can’t do the gym’ or ‘I need a cigarette to deal with this situation’ but I can assure you that you don’t!

I’ll be going back to my local Lloydspharmacy this week for a catch up with Rebecca, the pharmacy assistant who is supporting me. I’ve only used half my inhalator cartridges so won’t need to replace them, but I would like to talk to her about weaning myself off the patches, as after the first eight weeks I am due to reduce the strength from 25mg to 15mg so I might feel the effects of nicotine withdrawal a bit more.

Quitting smoking has made me feel like a stronger person. I’ve surprised myself and my friends – I think they’ve been placing bets on how long I would last! I’ve still got a way to go, but I’m feeling confident. Next week will sadly be my last blog as Stoptober ends, but I’m confident that I will be able to keep on going!